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It’s really a lose-lose situation: either the MoD starts preparing alternate sites in England (which would be expensive and lend support to independence), or it continues to invest in sites that potentially aren’t as secure as they once were.


Exactly. Giving T26 and other surface combatants to the Clyde, and the closure of Portsmouth, was a sop to Scotland but could turn out to be a disastrous move if they go ahead anyway. And even then the Scottish Nats don’t care either way. I’m afraid to say there has to be a plan B now, it feels like its an inevitability now.


Some of the plan B options are pretty simple. For example, awarding Cammel Laird the T31 contract would bring warship building back to England without taking anything from Scotland that would cause drama (Rosyth will still likely get the FSS and QEC refit work).

The fuelling and armament depots though, I’m not sure how it could be diplomatically managed, and HMNB Clyde is effectively irreplaceable without building a brand new base (Devonport could potentially do it with a lot of work, but it’s probably a political dead end die to how built up the area is)

David Graham

If you have ever been to Coulport, you will understand why to try and replicate it elsewhere would be pretty well financially impossible, even if the inevitable planning permission hurdles could be overcome. Incidentally, the location is Glen Mallan, with an “a”. I know, because I used to live nearby.

James Harrington Law

So true and the geographical location is as ideal as you could find in the UK for this use.


If Coulport has to be replaced things will need to be done in a very different way. The priority would need to be on cost control above operational speed and capability.

Meirion X

The BAE version of the Type 31 frigate is too small to allow power generation upgrades in the future.

James Harrington Law

Never wanted the Scots to leave, Scotland is a fantastic place, but it seems that half or more of them want to leave. Im all for linking investment in Scotland with the Union, but if they leave we need a plan B and the Navy and RAF should all plan to come “home”. I hate the constant moaning by the SNP. The Union invests billions in Scotland.


I don’t want them to leave either. I don’t think the majority of Scots actually want to leave, but the SNP are incredibly vocal and will keep fanning the flames.

The hilarious thing is that the SNP are against Brexit but somehow think Scottish independence is feasible. Scotland hasn’t been independent for over 300 years, and it would be economically crippled by independence. Especially because the North Sea gas and oil is going to become increasingly irrelevant over the next couple of decades, and that makes up more than half of Scotland’s economy


There are over 170 independant countries in the world. The vast majority without oil. A significant number of them once ruled by westminster. They all survive somehow. To suggest Scotland can’t shows a complete lack of understanding or,dare i say, arrogance on your part.


There are plenty of countries in the world with no oil, correct. Those countries are therefore not dependent on the oil industry to support their economy, unlike Scotland. With fossil fuel demand decreasing and increase in green movements, it’s a poor industry to be heavily dependent on for most of your economic output.

Some of Scotland’s big industries are completely UK dependent, like shipbuilding, and thus would quickly die out. Most of Scotland’s exports go to the UK, so depending on a future trade deal there could be tariffs. As an independent country, they’d need to form a new central bank and currency (although they’d probably adopt the Euro), all of which would cause economic mayhem. There’s also the deficit Scotland runs: last year they had tax income of £60bn but expenditure of over £74bn, subsidised by the rest of the UK.

Suggesting Scotland would be crippled by independence isn’t arrogance or a lack of understanding. It’s looking at the available facts and seeing a country economically dependent on the Union. Just like the facts show that the UK is economically better in the EU, the facts show that an independent Scotland would have an economic crisis.


I don’t agree that Scotland is dependant on oil for their economy. Do some research and find out what the food and drink sectors contribute, tourism, banking, forestry, electronics, space, aluminium, steel, automotive, we have all those and more. Shipbuilding while important is not as big as you seem to think, you talk of tarrifs with rest of uk, well, that works both ways remember. Was there mayhem when uk went decimal in ’71? No. Was there mayhem when the euro was adopted in Europe? No. And defecit figures can be massaged either way by whoever is doing the sums! What’s the uk current defecit? It’s not looking too rosy at the moment!


Based on government data, Scotland’s onshore GDP for 2017-18 was £156.5bn, but including North Sea oil and gas that goes up to £237.6bn. So more than a third of Scotland’s GDP is from the fossil fuel industry. You don’t have to believe Scotland’s economy is dependent on oil, but if you want to try saying a third of your economy isn’t critical, go for it.

Shockingly I didn’t feel the need to list off every aspect of Scotland’s economy, I focused on the parts that would be majorly effected by independence. Same logic with the tariffs, we’re on about Scotland, not the effect on the UK as a whole (which, given that in 2018 Scotland generated 7.8% of income but took 9.3% of the budget, wouldn’t suffer nearly as badly).

Mayhem was probably too strong a word. However, all those changes you mentioned were pre planned years in advance and actually voluntary. As for deficit figures, I’d love to see how you massage away the fact that the Scottish government spends disproportionately more than it generates in tax income.


So we went from over half of Scotlands economy dependant on oil to a third. Ok. Still a lot but less than your original post. And as i said before, lots of countries without it doing very well for thenselves.diversify and adapt. Regarding tariffs, are you saying rest of uk wouldnt be affected by tarrifs with an independant Scotland? But Scotland would? Can’t see how that would work. Currently a lot of Scottish exports get hauled down south and go abroad via english ports, then they count as UK exports. That’s a huge massaging of figures right there. Income tax. Im no expert, by a long way, but if all scottish companies paid tax to Edinburgh to be distributed to 5 million scots rather than westminster where its distributed between 56 million brits, well, that would probably massage the figures a bit as well. Bottom line is this. I firmly believe Scotland can go it alone and be successful. You don’t. We’ll just have to agree to disagree or we’ll be here forever and a day arguing!

Peter Lever

A couple of small comments:
1) a share of Union assets comes with a share of the liabilities from the national debt !
2) This guy for one would never go again to Scotland – I think a considerable amount of the Scottish tourism actually is domestic from the rest of the UK.

I hope they think sensibly – stronger together is actually a realistic expression. Fine people being politically and emotionally stirred up. If the SNP are against a nuclear deterrent don’t ask the English to protect them – not sure the French are that reliable as an option.


But does the whole of the UK not run a deficit?

Kevin Hastie

Its a weird contradiction in terms isnt it? You cannot be an independent nation AND be in the Supra-nationalistic EU. The Scots are a canny bunch, they are not stupid, and yet they fall for such nonsense from the SNP


Stupid argument. The UK is currently in the EU. Is the UK not an independant nation then?

David Graham

The honest answer is no, the United Kingdom is not an independent nation as long as it remains in the European Union. Scotland would simply become another small EU country [independent of the rest of the UK, certainly] should it become independent.

I worked for Lux-Development for over a decade, and as Luxembourg is a founding member of the EU, I’m well aware of the way in which it works and the eventual aims. The founding fathers, Robert Schuman and Paul-Henri Spaak were quite clear on their goal, that of a united European state, a view furthered later by Mr Monet [PM of France] and others who followed. This is still the ultimate goal; look no further than pronouncements by Mr Juncker, and those of the current French president.

Scotland’s biggest problem is that, should it become independent of the UK, it would inherit a left of centre administration with all that implies for the economy, and have to support a large [it is suggested circa 40%] public sector work force. In that context, think “Net Tax Payers”.

Tam Woods

That’s why you need your own nuclear bases, refuelling depots, munitions depots and deep water lochs. Of which you have next to none. Good luck with it. As a previous poster said, “take it home”. You’re welcome to it. Not on my doorstep mate.

Captain Nemo

The SNP want to keep another vote constantly on the agenda so that they can call for one at a time that is advantageous to them without it seeming exceptional, at which point they will also look to expand the vote to under fives, animals, fish and some plants.
It’s a form of political terrorism on their part and as with conventional terrorism the UK has to be lucky every time, but the SNP only has to be lucky once.

Bobs Baradur

The SNP love independence as an issue, not an actuality.
The have no idea how to do it, but is great to rally the troops with.
If it ever happened it, the SNP worthies would flee for the exits.
You’d have send a press gang to find a government.


The navy and raf should “come home”? So it’s the English navy and English air force is it? It may surprise you to learn that some of us jocks have jobs and pay taxes which go towards the upkeep of the U.K. I’ll say it again,U.K. armed forces . Just another example of you sassenachs not being able to differentiate between England and U.K. they are not the same thing!


We now live in a country where the English pay tuition fees, prescriptions and pay in hospital car parks and get per head less funding then other parts of the UK. Unfortunately that imbalance unless corrected has led many English people to ask a simple question, when can we vote for Scottish independence!
For your information the English that are not well liked north of the border tend to come from the one part of England most English dislike, namely London.
My sad conclusion is the split is just a case of when and not if. Thank you Mr Blair what a legacy.


Well said! The English forget the disproportionate contribution made by Scots, Scotland and the other small nations towards the armed forces over centuries. A Scot founded the US navy, huge NATO allies.


Callum, are you sure you still don’t want Scotland to leave?…..


Exactly, UK armed forces. Scotland would be independent, whilst England, Wales and Northern Ireland would continue as the United Kingdom. It’s really not too complicated. And as with Brexit, you want to leave, you pay the divorce bill.


A bit too complicated for you it seems. United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland to give us our full title. The english, scots and welsh live in the great britain part. Which would no longer be united. I suppose you could call yourselves the united kingdom of southern great britain and northern ireland?


Cherry picking a phrase that was in quotation marks, without context. Classic.
You might go back and read the entire sentence you are quoting? If Scotland becomes independent then the Navy needs a plan b to come “home.”
Or are you saying that if Scotland was independent it should still benefit from the protection of the Royal Navy?

Stephen G.

I don’t think most Scots do want to leave the Union. It would be madness in any case to put borders up in our island. Together we are the equal of a France or a Germany, it is very much in all of our interests to stick together.


I wish I could agree but for the past 40 or so years, I’ve seen us be on the receiving end of Scots blaming everything on the English. My wife lived in Scotland and worked as an accountant, her company knew not to send her to certain areas as there was an actual threat of violence for having an English accent. I myself was in a couple of fights where randoms decided they didn’t like the accent. This and the constant moaning. Sorry to those Scots who feel differently but many of us are tired of it now, it’s like spending too long hanging-on in a bad marriage. I hope the UK leaves the EU and I hope this causes Scotland to leave the union – and the very best of luck to you as an independent nation. England and Wales will be just fine without you – including the people of Liverpool, Newcastle, Devon and elsewhere who will no longer need to wonder why they are jobless since so much public money is being spent on warship building and naval facilities North of the border. I would be tempted to put this jetty, and everything else North of the border on hold until indiref2. Hopefully this delivers the right result and we can get on with spending the money ourselves.


The Union invest billions in Scotland because Scotland is in the Union, and as such Scotland generates tax income for the Union.


The world has changed,communications have changed by an order of magnitude. The UK has some communities whose first loyalties are not with their home country. The carriers themselves and their hugely expensive maintainence and supply chain are highly vulnerable.

Paul Francis

It’s such a shame that the current political crisis over Brexit is causing us to revisit the pain of issues that should have been closed off in 2014. I agree with the comments made earlier in the discussion that any heavy investments made in Scotland by UK Government should contain a ‘Plan B’ element to protect UK interests in the event of independence. However what’s needed is more than a ‘Plan B’; rather a full options analysis is required to ensure that sovereign capabilities are retained and costs are minimised. A key option, at least in the short term, is leasing type deal or the creation of a more longer term sovereign territory arrangement. Whilst these options would be extremely unpalatable and unpopular to the newly appointed Scottish Government, severe short to medium term financial pressures may inevitably lead to the more pragmatically minded Ministers in Edinburgh seeking alternative income sources for the newly formed country. This situation could be exploited to the RNs advantage although it is obviously far from being an optimal situation.


A hypothetically, newly, independent Scotland would find itself needing income streams and fast. Any RN, et al bases in Scotland would be leased (and on reasonably favourable terms I suspect) back to the UK as soon as that fact of life becomes apparent. It’s a non issue.


Geo, sadly you need to take your unionist blinkers of for a couple of minutes. As Triple3 succinctly pointed out above, the figures regarding Scotland’s contribution to the ‘UK’ economy have been massaged for at least one hundred years. Why would England want to hold on to Scotland so much….’because they love us’…yeah, pull the other one.

When Scottish independence soon (hopefully) becomes a reality and the books are opened there is going to be one massive shock and it’s not going to be a negative one for Scotland other than how much we contributed to the uk and how little was given in return. For decades we were told we were too poor, too stupid etc., etc., and the only representative images we got on the bbc was the aggressive drunk or the pissed fat kilty at new year. Thankfully these days are nearly over as the media now grudgingly admit Scotland is absolutely capable of going it on its own.

No more paying billions for Scotland’s share of HS2 which will never arrive. No more paying for our share of London mega projects. No more being left out of fishing negotiations while Scotland’s assets are carved up by those who know little of the people and care even less. The list goes on and on. My only sadness is all my pals in Yorkshire will have to continue being screwed by the south of England and receive even less than they do now whilst being utterly ignored by those in power.


I think it’s quite well documented that Scotland receives more net public money per head that the rest of the country – and what do we get in return? Well let’s just say that you do love a grievance don’t you. Which is why – for different reasons – I wholeheartedly agree Ged; please leave as soon as possible. And if you don’t, I’ll be writing to my MP to ask for an English vote on the matter. Incidentally, many of my friends are Scots and I’m sure that won’t change.


I completely concur with your sentiments OOA, apart from the bit about it being well documented that Scotland receives more than it generates. Don’t want to do a total retread re other threads but just one example ‘scotch’ is said to be worth around £5.5 billion p/y to the uk economy. Now be honest. Did you know that as an export if it leaves English ports and apparently it does, it counts not towards Scottish but England/Wales figures.

This misreporting is happening time and time again and on a large scale across all parts of Scotland’s economy to bolster uk financial reporting and deflate Scottish figures. It handily also backs up the line that is trumpeted from the rooftops that Scotland is a financial basket case who’s population is ageing and we are heading for financial Armageddon if it wasn’t for the largess of the uk.

If you are open minded to at least exploring this belief you opened your remarks with then simply Google ‘business for Scotland’. If you think the site is just pro Scottish nationalist propaganda then you’ll understand how I feel with 98% of all other uk media output being pro British nationalist propaganda. Cheers.


It’s also well documented that some areas of England receive more per head than Scotland.

The figures also seem to always be based on personal taxation. Not a comparison of total taxation in Scotland (VAT, business tax, personal tax etc) and what is spent in scotland.

Captain Nemo

Like Mcglashlan? lol, that one’s was all yours.

Good you mention Yorkshire, we have a similar sized population and economy to Scotland, but we don’t benefit from the Barnett formula in the divvy up. Too fat, too stupid, too poor, yes we got that too.
Concentration of wealth and talent is pretty much replicated across human history as is the concentration of projects emerging from it, the capital draws in ‘the brightest and the best’ (I disagree of course) and we all benefit. They could have built the royal opera house in Barnsley but there’d be no bugger in it and Yorkshire would never have payed for it, but we get one anyway and never go, happy in the knowledge that HS2 won’t get any further than Birmingham.

Here’s Mcglashlan, only reason I wrote the post, lol; hope it’s taken with good humour, because it is.


The phrase rose tinted glasses come to mind , and raging about alleged injustice over the last 300 years will not change the facts .
Scotland can seek independence and if that is what the people of Scotland want then I wish them well.
But the SNP need to be honest about a few things , a independent Scotland would have to apply to join the EU that is a min 5 year process and adopt the euro and as it stands there are a cple rather big hurdles to overcome.
Both Spain and Italy have indicated they would veto a Scottish application to join the EU and it only takes 1 non to stop the application.
Adopting the euro requires the Scottish economy to meet certain criteria of protocol 13 of the Maastricht treaty.
Much is made the Scottish government deficit of 9% and government debt of 123% of GDP being a bar to joining the Euro, but the biggest bar is the issue of stability of a independent Scottish currency and its treasury bonds on this issue alone the silence of the SNP is very telling as they know that to achieve the requirements of that part of the criteria would require a min of 5 years of currency stability and seeing as they cannot even tell us what a independent Scotland would use as a currency there application to join the EU and the euro are dead on arrival.
I wish the people of Scotland well if they chose independence but I think you will find the likes of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon will be nowhere to be seen when the crap hits the fan financially.
Reality is a b itch .


There are a couple of issues I could take with the “you need to take your unionist blinkers of for a couple of minutes” part but this isn’t the place for a debate on Scottish independence so I will limit myself to pointing out that for over 150 years the RN played a significant role ensuring world peace and the freedom of the sea that in turn ensured a considerable rise in living standards – and the aforementioned peace – for a great many people (I’m not denying many were left behind but again, not the time or place) so being British, let alone being unionist isn’t a necessarily a prerequisite for showing an interest in saving the RN which is, after all, what we are all here about. So leaving my nationality aside and focusing on my ancestry, which is, in roughly equal parts: Scottish, English, Irish and German, I have no particular stake in anyone’s independence movement and you may very well want to take your own blinkers off and listen to what a dispassionate observer is telling you.

I stand by, but will expand upon, my original statement: a hypothetically independent Scotland will need revenue streams and will need them quickly; international obligations need to be met; roads and hospitals need to be paid for and police and nurses, among others, need to be paid. All this needs to happen from day one – taxes, no matter how bountiful can not be collected until the end of the first financial year in the case of income tax or at least the first quarter in the case of sales tax. Revenue streams are going to have to be found, and found fast, pre independence in fact. One of the easiest ways to get them will be renting out the facilities, not just the bases, that the British government currently have in Scotland, it’s not just the armed forces, other national level facilities such as telecommunications facilities, civil air traffic control etc etc are all things that can be rented out (for varying lengths of time: some things will move south of the border, others are best left where they are).

The reason the terms will be favourable to the British is that they will be only bidder, Putin, no matter how much he loves winding up the west, will not be putting in a competing bid to base Russian Northern Fleet SSBNs in Faslane! The RN is the only possible tenant, so the win-win is a long term (Geography isn’t going to change anytime soon) lease at a low rate that gets the Scottish government a stream of revenue.


I’d like to thank for its contribution to Scottish independence. When I read the patronising and arrogant anti Scottish comments on here it cements my vote to leave when the time inevitably comes round in the near future. It is unbelievable that anyone can accuse a resource rich country like Scotland of being unable to run its own affairs like a multitude of other small European countries.
Thanks for the jetty it’s awfully kind of you to build it for us, keep the design as you’ll be needing to build another down south soon enough. The United Kingdom was supposed to be a joint affair, you lot think it’s England, England, England. We’ll have our share and then it’s cheerio.

Captain Nemo

lols the votes.

– And how stands that mighty army, the clan McAdder?
~They’re both well
– I always thought that Jamie and Angus were such fine boys


Angus is a girl.


It seems bizarre such a navy article and defence overall site can attract so many independence oriented scots, judging by so many downvotes. It makes one think perhaps a robot clawler is constantly deployed by the Nats all over the web trawling through any articles that have SEO words like independence, Scotland, etc.


United we stand divided we fall, this applies to the hole of the uk, there would be no winner from an independent Scotland, Scotland’s biggest assets is not oil or gas and not the whisky distilleries, its the most previous commodity on the planet, Water, There would be no good came for independents, the SNP have got there heads stuck up arses, the country would be much poorer and it would our children’s children that would be paying for the mess and not to mention defence, the Russian would be moving straight in, they are camping out of Scotland just now and we have the full support of the UK military to defend us.